Personal specification, or person specification, has to do with the job skills that an individual must have to be able to complete certain tasks that a company requires for a specific position. It may include many different skills, depending on what the company is looking for and what they require for the job. The criteria needs to be set forth by the company that is looking to hire an individual and can be changed at their discretion, but only on a per position basis.
The criteria of the company’s personal specification list must be measurable, specific and justifiable according to the position for which it is written. This means that the company cannot ask unrealistic expectations of those looking to fill the position. Once these specifications are outlined, they must be followed for each individual that applies for the job, meaning they cannot be changed from applicant to applicant.
When personal specification requirements are being written, care must be taken that nothing is listed that would discriminate against disabled persons. The Disability Discrimination Act requires employers to allow for adjustments to their businesses and working arrangements for those that fall under the definition of a disabled person. If there are requirements that would inhibit a disabled person from performing the position, they must be listed specifically and cannot be left undefined.
The features of personal specification are most often the same at any company. They include qualifications and training, experience, knowledge and skills and personal attributes. While the exact criteria of these features can change, these are the features that are most often considered. For example, some positions may require that the individual be a college graduate, while others might only require a high school education. This is dependent on the company and the job that is being offered.
Personal specification requirements have been around longer than the term has been in use. However, the rules and regulations regarding hiring requirements have drastically changed through the ages. Employers must now conform to specific regulations to not discriminate against individuals and must allow for certain criteria to be set out before the hiring process begins.
Personal specification requirements are significant in the hiring process in that they have more than one function. Not only do they allow all individuals that are looking to be hired for the open position, they also allow for those that do not fit the criteria to be weeded out at the beginning of the hiring process. For example, if the criteria states that an individual must have at least three years experience in a particular field to be hired for the position, those that have no experience will not be allowed to apply. This allows the company to compile a particular "hiring pool" of individuals to fill the position.